The relationship between a woman and her body can be most tempestuous, and why wouldn’t it be? Every day we receive mixed messages about what the “ideal” beauty is. So let’s stop the body shaming and start loving the body we’ve got!
Step 1- Stop Avoiding the Mirror!
This one might take a little work but chances are if you’re not comfortable with your body you will avoid looking at yourself in the mirror, especially if you’re naked. Truth is if you try and look at yourself even just once a week it will start to change the way you see yourself. Do your makeup or dry your hair in the nude at first to get used to seeing your naked body. The more you see it the more familiar you will become and the less likely you will be to pick it apart.
If that is too tough and you still feel your inner critic taking over then find one beautiful thing about your naked body and focus on it.Or strike a pose in the mirror. Look for an angle you feel your body looks best and go from there. The journey to loving your body is a tough one but starting with one small step is a start.
Step 2- Cut the Fat Talk
Have you ever been in the company of your friends, female friends in particular and the topic will turn to bodies. It could start with a comment like “I look like a whale”, another will chime in and say ” Ah no, you’re not you’re gorgeous I’ve put on about 5 stone” There then begins a back and forth discussion about who looks worse in a bid to make the other person feel better. How about instead establishing with your friends that your friendship is a fat talk free zone. Is fat really the very worst thing you can be? As intelligent women we have better and easier ways to build each other up without tearing ourselves down in the process.
Step 3- It’s not all about looks
Remember, when you are looking at your body you are often looking at it through a lens of media messages. Whether or not you are aware of it society and the media soak into your consciousness until your thinking is skewed. Instead of seeing a functioning healthy body you see fat lumps and bumps. If you shift your focus this might help your perception. So instead of saying I hate my thighs, think about all the things your thighs allow you to do. Can you walk, run, dance? Find something that fits for you. Once you start to talk about your body in a positive way you will start to see it in a positive
Step 4- Collect Compliments
Positive self talk is a habit. Like any habit you try to create or break it will take time to become second nature.. During this time it can feel quite false and as if you are lying to yourself. One way to combat this is to write down all the compliments and positive interactions you have with people. If someone tells you look lovely write it down, when someone tells you that you are funny write it down, write it all down! When you’re feeling low or if positive self talk is a struggle you have a resource at hand to help you out.
Step 5- Shape your Media
Do gossip magazines make you feel bad about yourself? Stop reading them. Do you have a friend who puts you down? Limit your interactions with them. Better yet challenge them on their behaviours. Let them know how they make you feel. You will only begin to feel better about yourself when you begin to remove as much of the negative and body shaming messages from your life as possible.
Step 6- Share the Love
Compliment others and don’t take no for an answer. As you go further on your journey to body love and acceptance you will begin to see more and more people who need help with their perceptions of themselves. One thing you can do for yourself and others is to pay compliments. The more positivity you give out the more you will get back. However it is important to remember that some people find compliments difficult and may try to brush you off or insult themselves to feel less shame. When this happens have an answer ready for them. For example “you look lovely today” “I look awful I didn’t sleep and I’ve had these clothes for years” “Well fair play you look well on it” Or whatever turns of phrase work for you. Go ahead make somebodies day.
These are only 6 little steps you can take to feeling a little more Body Confident!
If you have more I would love to hear them.